PIZZA IN PIENZA by Susan Fillion


by illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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A little Tuscan girl introduces readers to her hometown of Pienza and her favorite food, pizza.

Simple, declarative sentences take readers from Queen Margherita of Italy, circa 1889, to the streets of Pienza, where life “is still pretty old-fashioned,” to a brief history of the pizza. “[P]izza as we know it,” she says, “was really born in Naples,” but she goes back even further to inform readers that the ancient Greeks and Italians ate flatbreads before moving on to discuss classic pizza ingredients and the invention of the pizza Margherita. The first pizzeria in the United States opened in New York City in 1905, she continues, but pizza did not become popular around the country until after World War II: “Now there is pizza in Pienza… / …and all around the world!” Her ingenuous voice is matched by equally enthusiastic, folk-style artwork, which looks to be made with oil pastels and is dominated by warm, Tuscan colors. Fillion spices the illustrations with humor, pairing a black-clad nonna on a bicycle to a modish young woman on a Vespa on one page and planting a demurely held slice in Mona Lisa’s left hand on another. The English text appears above an Italian translation on every page, and the story is supplemented by an author’s note, a pronunciation guide, a two-page history of pizza and a recipe.

Both tasty and just filling enough, just like a slice of pizza Margherita. (Informational picture book. 4-8)


Pub Date: June 28th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-56792-459-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Godine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2013


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